Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus

Washington, DC Completed - 2013
Project Highlights
  • District of Columbia Public Schools
  • 347,000 sf, 1,100 students
  • Renovation + Addition
  • LEED Gold Certified
  • In association with Hartman-Cox Architects
  • 2014 Award of Excellence, DC AIA
  • Award of Excellence, NAIOP, MD/DC Chapter
  • Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation, Historic Preservation Review Board
  • 2014 WBC Craftsmanship Awards, Finishes & Flooring

A beacon on the hill.

A DC landmark and historic monument, Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus has anchored the 14th Street Corridor since 1916, but the building’s monumental exterior required an equally impressive and grand interior. The design team provided 21st Century learning environments for this significant building, renewing and restoring the community and school’s pride and identity.

Visioning sessions held with teachers, administration, parents and neighbors identified several needs: 21st Century learning spaces, improved school navigation, inviting public spaces, and a regulation gymnasium.

The modernized classrooms provide much needed project-based learning spaces. The school’s undersized specialized CTE learning academies—the Academy of Construction & Design and the Trans-Tech Academy—are expanded and enhanced with flexible classroom and laboratory space.

A new monumental stair creates a central hub that connects the academic levels, resolving the existing way-finding issues. The stair invites access from the entrance to the main gathering areas and public function spaces, which include two internal courtyards. The courtyards, previously unusable during the colder months, are converted into enclosed atria with skylights for year-round use by students and the community as gathering, activity and collaborative break out space.

The new regulation gymnasium fosters school identity and pride. Constructed partially below grade to allow for parking on the roof, the addition is lowered in deference to the historic structure and to maintain the community’s sight lines to the DC skyline.